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All The Royal Family Members Who Opened Up About Going to Therapy

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All The Royal Family Members Who Opened Up About Going to Therapy


Netflix’s The Crown often depicts ways in which the royal family must repress their true feelings and opinions from the public. But in the season 4 episode “The Hereditary Principle,” Princess Margaret (Helena Bonham Carter) seeks therapy as she works through her transition away from senior royal duties, health issues, and the discovery of a dark family secret. She also finds out that Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor) and Princess Diana (Emma Corrin) have sought treatment for personal problems.

In real-life, the royals’ approach to mental health has evolved over the decades. Princess Diana was the first royal to speak openly about seeking therapy for both bulimia and postpartum depression. That opened the door for her children, Prince Harry and Prince William, to spearhead the mental health initiative Heads Together alongside Kate Middleton. Behind the scenes, several other royals have reportedly gone to therapy. A royal source even told Australian magazine New Idea (via The Express), that Queen Elizabeth wants her brood to participate in “a family counseling session” to ease reported tensions amongst some of its members. Ahead, a look at every royal who has reportedly gone to therapy or opened up about their mental health journey.

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    1

    Princess Diana

    “Well, maybe I was the first person ever to be in this family who ever had a depression or was ever openly tearful. And obviously that was daunting, because if you’ve never seen it before how do you support it?” Diana said during her BBC Panorama interview in 1995. She was open about seeking treatment for post-partum depression, bulimia, and marital problems. “You’d wake up in the morning feeling you didn’t want to get out of bed, you felt misunderstood, and just very, very low in yourself,” the princess said of this time, adding, “I received a great deal of treatment, but I knew in myself that actually what I needed was space and time to adapt to all the different roles that had come my way. I knew I could do it, but I needed people to be patient and give me the space to do it.”

    2

    Prince Charles

    According to royal reporter and biographer Sally Bedell Smith (via The History Channel), Prince Charles attended sessions with Dr. Alan McGlashan for 14 years after seeking help in the early years of his marriage. “Charles’s friend Laurence Van der Post says McGlashan perceived Charles as ‘misunderstood and starved’ of ‘really spontaneous, natural affection,’ and provided the prince with ‘the respect his own natural spirit deserves,’” Bedell Smith reports.

    3

    Prince Harry

    Prince Harry has long been open about attending therapy to cope with the loss of his mother Diana at age 12. “I have probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions when all sorts of grief and all sorts of lies and misconceptions and everything are coming to you from every angle,” he revealed in 2017 on Telegraph reporter Bryony Gordon’s podcast Mad World. Harry went on to say that the death of his mother caused “shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years.” He added, “My way of dealing with it was sticking my head in the sand, refusing to ever think about my mum because why would that help?” But at age 28, with the help of his brother William, Harry says he saw a therapist “more than a couple of times.” He continued, “The experience I have had is that once you start talking about it, you realize that actually, you’re part of quite a big club. I can’t encourage people enough to just have that conversation because you will be surprised firstly, how much support you get and secondly, how many people literally are longing for you to come out.”

    4

    Meghan Markle

    Since stepping down from senior royal duties in early 2020, Meghan has been candid about her personal struggles in the public eye. In October, she and Harry were interviewed for the podcast Teenager Therapy, where Meghan referred to herself as “the most trolled person in the entire world,” and spoke to the power of journaling for her mental health. The following month, Meghan penned an emotional op-ed for The New York Times revealing she suffered a miscarriage in July. “Sitting in a hospital bed, watching my husband’s heart break as he tried to hold the shattered pieces of mine, I realized that the only way to begin to heal is to first ask, ‘Are you OK?'” she wrote. The Duchess of Sussex also addressed the stigma that surrounds miscarriages. “Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few,” she wrote. “Some have bravely shared their stories; they have opened the door, knowing that when one person speaks truth, it gives license for all of us to do the same.”

    5

    Kate Middleton

    William and Kate haven’t opened up about going through therapy directly, but they’ve alluded to mental health challenges while promoting their organization Heads Together. Kate opened up about the “overwhelming experience” of becoming a mother in 2017. “There is no rule book, no right or wrong; you just have to make it up and do the very best you can to care for your family. For many mothers, myself included, this can at times lead to a lack of confidence and feelings of ignorance,” she explained. “Sadly, for some mothers, this experience can be made so much harder due to challenges with our very mental health.” She went on to address the stigma associated with therapy, saying, “If any of us caught a fever during pregnancy, we would seek advice and support from a doctor. Getting help with our mental health is no different. Our children need us to look after ourselves and get the support we need.”

    6

    Prince William

    For the future King of England, he says his time in the Armed Forces impacted his mental health. “When I started feeling issues myself, it was from my air ambulance work,” he revealed at a Heads Together event in 2019. “I was dealing with a lot of trauma on a day in, day out basis, stuff that your body is not programmed to deal with, there’s just no way it is.” William added, “For some reason, we’re all embarrassed by emotions—British people, particularly—we’re very embarrassed by revealing our emotions.”

    7

    Princess Margaret

    As depicted on The Crown‘s fourth season, Margaret reportedly sought treatment after her divorce from Antony Armstrong-Jones in the 1970s. According to The Guardian, the royal “suffered a nervous breakdown” during the breakup and sought treatment for depression with psychiatrist to the stars Mark Collins. However, Princess Margaret never opened up about her private struggles or attending therapy to the public.

    8

    James Middleton

    While not a direct member of the royal family, Kate Middleton’s younger brother James has been candid about his mental health journey. In a Daily Mail op-ed in 2019, he opened up about undergoing a year of cognitive behavioral therapy for depression. James later told the Telegraph that every member of his family, including the Duchess of Cambridge, attended therapy with him. “That was so important because that helped them understand me and how my mind was working,” he told the outlet. “And I think the way the therapy helped me was that I didn’t need my family to say, ‘What can we do?’ The only thing they could do was just come to some of the therapy sessions to start to understand.”

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    Kiley Reid on ‘Goosebumps,’ Cat Marnell, and the First Book She Ever Bought

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    kiley reid's book recommendations


    Portrait by David Goddard / Illustration by Yousra Attia

    Welcome to Shelf Life, ELLE.com’s books column, in which authors share their most memorable reads. Whether you’re on the hunt for a book to console you, move you profoundly, or make you laugh, consider a recommendation from the writers in our series, who, like you (since you’re here), love books. Perhaps one of their favorite titles will become one of yours, too.

    Kiley Reid’s debut novel, Such a Fun Age, is a propulsive read about race and class featuring a 25-year-old babysitter and her privileged employer. Reid will be an executive producer on the film adaptation of her bestseller, which was long-listed for the 2020 Booker Prize, for Lena Waithe’s Hillman Grad production company along with Sight Unseen Pictures. The paperback comes out on April 20.

    Before her publishing debut, Reid worked as a nanny, barista, receptionist, and at Godiva. She also studied theater and attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She now lives in Philadelphia, after falling in love with the city after seeing a 2015 Beyoncé concert there in the pouring rain. Read on to see what else she’s fallen for.

    The book that:

    …made me miss a train stop:

    The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. Missed my stop completely, and this was on a second read. It’s that good.

    …I recommend over and over again:

    David Barthelme’s short story “The School.”

    …currently sits on my nightstand:

    Knocking The Hustle by Lester K. Spence.

    …I’d gift to a new graduate:

    Drinking Coffee Elsewhere by Z.Z. Packer.

    …made me laugh out loud:

    Gish Jen’s short story Who’s Irish?

    …I’d like turned into a Netflix show:

    How To Murder Your Life by Cat Marnell. I loved it. Read it in two days. I’d binge it in less than that.

    …I first bought:

    Goosebumps. All the Goosebumps. R.L. Stine knew what he was doing.

    …I last bought:

    Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward and The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom.

    has the best title:

    Special Topics In Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl.

    …has the best opening line:

    “I was born in Harlem thirty-one years ago.” Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin.

    …should be on every college syllabus:

    Why You Should Be A Socialist by Nathan J. Robinson.

    …I consider literary comfort food:

    The Secret History by Donna Tartt.

    …features the most beautiful book jacket:

    Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi is gorgeous. It’s the prettiest jacket I saw last year.

    …I’d want signed by the author for my library:

    Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin.

    …that holds the recipe to a favorite dish:

    The Ancestral Table by Russ Crandall. Chili con carne. It lasts for days and makes your home smell wonderful.

    Bonus question: If I could live in any library or bookstore in the world, it would be:

    The Fayetteville Public Library in Fayetteville, Arkansas. There were many days I felt like I actually did live in this library, as I resided in Fayetteville for a year before graduate school. It’s quiet and beautiful, and there’s a room with an extremely high ceiling that is shaped like the inside of a book spine. It’s incredible.


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    Rihanna Declares It Spring With a Floral Savage x Fenty Lingerie Shot, 4.3M People Agree

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    Free Spirit Floral Embroidery High Leg Bikini


    Shortly after the clock struck midnight and February came to a quiet end, Rihanna hopped on Instagram to make an announcement: Spring is here, and floral season is upon us. RiRi posted a new photo of herself posing in a two-piece lingerie set and matching robe from her Savage x Fenty line. “savage af. don’t trip,” she captioned the image. “New @savagexfenty out now – only on savagex.com. #SavageSpring 🌸” More than 4.3 million people liked her post.

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    And it appears they bought her line, too. The exact lingerie pieces Rihanna wore seem to be sold out, but more of her line’s Free Spirit Floral collection is still available to shop here.

    Rihanna spoke to Vogue in September about her love of robes as quarantine wardrobe staples. “Robes are my new uniform,” she said with a laugh. “It’s comfortable, flexible, and easy. You can have thin ones, thick ones—why do anything else? You’re at home, no makeup, no weave. [I’m] chilling and doing what I have to do. Of course, I’ll put on clothes for a Zoom meeting every now and then.”

    She also spoke to British Vogue in March 2020 about what her upcoming album will be like. “I don’t want my albums to feel like themes,” she said. “There are no rules. There’s no format. There’s just good music, and if I feel it, I’m putting it out.”

    She added that there will be a reggae album, too: “Oh no, that is happening. I feel like I have no boundaries. I’ve done everything–I’ve done all the hits, I’ve tried every genre–now I’m just, I’m wide open. I can make anything that I want.”

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    The Best Fall Nail Trends from The 2021 Runways

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    The Best Fall Nail Trends from The 2021 Runways


    Rebecca Minkoff: Press-On Nail Art

    If there is one thing Rebecca Minkoff knows how to do it’s having fun with patterns and this season was no different. Down to the nails of the models, the looks were a celebration of “the juxtaposition between spring florals and the downtown edge of NYC.” Celebrity nail artist and KISS Ambassador, Gina Edwards was very busy this NYFW also bringing fun fingertips to the Rebecca Minkoff digital presentation.

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